Survey of bacteria associated with abdominal flap of freshwater crab (Potamon ebonyicum) at Ebonyi River basin Nigeria
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Ebonyi River basin of south east Nigeria is home to the freshwater crab Potamon ebonyicum, which are consumed indiscriminately by inhabitants and tourists. Bulk of the crab meat is obtained by crabbing. A preliminary survey of pathogenic bacteria associated with vulnerable morphological part of the crab species was carried out in the basin. Bacteria were isolated from abdominal flaps of the male and female crab. A total of 53 bacterial isolates consisting 4 bacteria species such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aereus and Aeromonas hydrophila were recorded. Percentage composition of each bacterial species was recorded in the reproductive features of the samples. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (72%) and Staphylococcus aereus (48%) were dominant among other bacterial species in the abdominal flaps of the male and female crab. Population of E. coli (4%) was significantly low and only recorded in the abdominal flap of the male crab. The results of the study showed clearly that the reproductive feature of freshwater crab was vulnerable to pathogenic microorganisms. The edible crabs from sampled site were contaminated with bacteria species which were considered by Centre for Food Safety as hazardous to human health. Investigation on sample from other area would enhance regulation on aquaculture, handling, processing and consumption of freshwater crab.